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Can You Improve Your Thyroid Naturally

What Tests Should I Get

How Can You Naturally Increase Thyroid Hormones?

I wrote an entire article on the exact tests you should ask for and why from your doc if you suspect youre having thyroid issues. In addition to the tests in that article, your doctor should also consider antibodies specific to Graves disease if you are experiencing hyperthyroid symptoms.

Often, when thyroid problems emerge, doctors reach for the standard TSH level to begin preliminary diagnosis. The thing is, this often doesnt tell the whole story, and whats considered a normal TSH level is frankly way too wide of a range. Plus, patients with subclinical hyperthyroidism may present with normal TSH levels, and we miss the chance to prevent them from descending into full-blown thyroid disease if we only assess TSH.

For my patients, I run a complete thyroid panel which includes:

  • TSH
  • TRAb*

*When Graves is suspected Thyrotropin Receptor antibodies helps us make the diagnosis.

Sometimes, a radioactive thyroid scan is recommended to determine how much iodine your thyroid takes up and assess its function. It can also be used to diagnose thyroid cancer.

How Are Thyroid Issues Treated

Typically, hypothyroidism is treated with a medication called Synthroid, or levothyroxine, which increases levels of T3 and T4. Patients are then monitored by an endocrinologist and who is looking for bumps in thyroid hormone levels. Theyre also monitored clinically to be sure that symptoms they were experiencing are getting better. Hyperthyroidism is also usually treated with medication in a similar manner.

At Parsley Health, we try to take a natural approach to thyroid healing. While some patients may still need medication, we rely on nutrition and lifestyle changes to help manage these conditions. Through diet and lifestyle changes, some patients are able to lower the dosage of their medication, come off of it entirely, or improve symptoms of their thyroid condition.

Ahead, eight thyroid healing practices you can start today.

Supplements To Boost Thyroid Conversion

Two particular nutrients are very helpful at increasing T4 to T3 conversion and also at reducing inflammation and autoantibodies : Zinc and Selenium.

While zinc may improve thyroid conversion it will only have this effect in people who are deficient in this mineral.

Fortunately there is a high probability that you do indeed have low zinc levels:

It’s estimated that up to 40% of people in the US have a deficiency in Zinc due to soil depletion and a reduction in nutrient dense foods.

This means that there is a high chance that you sub optimal zinc levels.

In addition to improving thyroid function zinc and selenium have also been shown to help in the following ways:

  • Boost immune function
  • Act as an anti-oxidant in the body
  • Reduce chronic inflammation
  • Reduce thyroid auto antibodies

These benefits make the combo of zinc + selenium a perfect match for hypothyroid patients .

Other supplements such as Vitamin A and guggul extract also show promise at increasing peripheral thyroid conversion.

To better promote thyroid conversion I recommend a supplement which contains at least 3 of the 4 supplements listed above:

Natural T3 Conversion Boosting Supplement

How to Use
  • Take 2 capsules each day at least 4 hours away from thyroid hormone
  • Each capsule contains precursors designed to help support and promote thyroid conversion including: Zinc, selenium, guggul extract and more.
  • Use in conjunction with other therapies to further boost T4 to T3 conversion and cellular action.

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A Note About Glutathione

Glutathione is amazing for decreasing inflammation and healing up your thyroid . Unfortunately, its really had to take a supplement of glutathione. Stomach acid usually destroys the nutrients.

So, you can get glutathione into your body by eating lots of organic fruits and vegetables, meat from a reputable source , and nuts. You can also improve your levels by exercising and decreasing your stress levels.

You can also take the precursors of glutathione to increase your supply. You can take supplements like ALA , selenium, NAC , milk thistle, and glutamine.

Ways To Naturally Regulate Your Thyroid

Improve Thyroid Dysfunction Naturally (how you can have a ...

If you’ve been keeping up with our thyroid content , you’ll recall that the small gland in your neck does a whole lot of work with very little rewarduntil it starts malfunctioning. Thyroid symptoms can screw with your weight, body temperature, emotions, and it can even do some pretty weird stuff to your eyes. And while you should definitely see your doc if you suspect that butterfly-shaped powerhouse is malfunctioning, there are steps you can take to make sure it keeps running smoothly. Here are 5 ways to regulate your thyroid, naturally.

Don’t go overboard on the kale.

Karaidel/Shutterstock

Treat yourselfin moderation.Sugar, alcohol, caffeineall delicious indulgences all serious thyroid offenders. This trio can drastically raise your cortisol levels, which can disrupt the conversion of thyroid hormones to make them useful to the body. So when cortisol levels are raised, thyroid function is suppressed, suggests Francis. If you absolutely have to have something caffeinated or alcoholic, up your protein intake. Animal products contain the amino acid, tyrosine, which aids in the production of thyroid hormones. Adding foods that are high in selenium, like nuts and seeds, can also boost your thyroid functioning, Francis says.

MORE: 7 Reasons You’re Tired All The Time

Get friendly with your yoga mat.

Alan Bailey/Shutterstock

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Optimize Adrenal Function & Manage Stress

Another important way to increase your free T3 is by focusing on your adrenals.

Your adrenals sit on top of your kidneys and they produce important hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.

These hormones are released during times of stress, so the more stress you are under the more hormones your body will produce.

This is a good thing, up to a certain point.

But if this system is overstimulated then it can start to drag down other hormone systems such as your thyroid.

It has been shown that as cortisol increases your TSH may increase as well .

This scenario may lead to characteristic symptoms including:

  • Debilitating fatigue even after a good night sleep
  • “Wired but tired” sensation
  • Increased energy at night and no energy in the morning
  • Constant weight gain

The good news is that you can take certain steps to help fix these symptoms and improve your adrenal function:

Combining Natural Therapies With Conventional Therapies

I spent the majority of this article discussing natural therapies but I also think it’s important to at least discuss conventional therapies as well.

The reason this is important is that I find that many patients find the best results when they combine conventional medicine with that of natural and alternative therapies.

But what exactly do I mean by conventional thyroid therapies?

Perhaps the primary treatment is the use of prescription thyroid medication.

Prescription thyroid medications are used to provide your body with thyroid hormone directly .

Thyroid medications are very powerful and provide your body with exactly what it is missing.

The good news is that you can often use natural therapies AND thyroid medication at the same time.

Using this strategy may allow you to reduce the amount of thyroid medication that you need by helping your thyroid function naturally.

Indeed, many of the studies I’ve listed above have shown just that! A decrease in demand for thyroid medication as people improve their diet and add in exercise.

It’s also important to understand that even though you may want to only undergo natural therapies that may not be possible for all people.

For instance:

What if you have had your thyroid removed due to thyroid cancer? Or what if you’ve had your thyroid ablated because of Graves’ disease?

These are two situations in which you will be reliant upon thyroid medication for the rest of your life.

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Common Signs & Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism

I had thyroid problems long before I knew what was going on. Its easy to miss the common symptoms of hypothyroidism among other normal aspects of life. For me, I was having babies, not sleeping much because of that, and struggling to lose weight because I thought that was normal for being postpartum.

But in reality, my symptoms were way more extreme than they should have been. The thyroid can produce so many different symptoms when its not behaving right. Some people will have a lot of them, others may only have one or two noticeable signs. This is where proper testing makes all the difference in getting answers.

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism to look out for?

Can Hyperthyroidism Be Cured

How To Help Improve Thyroid Function Naturally Without Doing Anything To Your Thyroid

Traditional treatment for hyperthyroidism can include medication and surgery.

If the thyroid is completely removed, technically hyperthyroidism is reversed, however, now the patient has hypothyroidism and has to be on levothyroxine for life. This option is only considered in very extreme circumstances.

While you can not cure an autoimmune condition, you can put it into remission and eliminate symptoms with surgical, pharmaceutical, and natural therapies.

Recommended Reading: Can Thyroid Problems Cause Eye Floaters

What About Natural Treatments

There are plenty of natural solutions touted by well-meaning people on the internet. But are they trustworthy? The experts say no.

One study shows that nearly 45% of the patients believed alternative forms of medicine can be used for the treatment of hypothyroidism. Science tells us a different story. Prescription medication is usually the key to managing hypothyroidism everything else is either risky or complementary. Here are some treatments that are often marketed as hypothyroidism treatments, but are not backed by valid research.

The Role Of Normal Vs Optimal Thyroid

Normal is a dangerous word. It sounds positive: youre just like everyone else, hooray! In reality, normal indicates that you merely fall within the standard margin of the average unhealthy adult. If the average adult is overweight and borderline diabetic, do you really want to stay in the same lane as them?

No, definitely not. Thats why theres such a dramatic difference between normal thyroid function and optimal thyroid function.

Normal thyroid function is imperfect. It keeps you chronically operating at 70% of your best self. Sure, you can survive like that, but its not how you want to live your life.

Theres no single perfect thyroid level. Everybody is different, which is the beauty of what we do as we individualize treatments. With that said, most women usually feel better with natural thyroid-free T3 levels between 4 and 4.4 pg/mL.

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How To Pick Out The Best Supplements

I recommend against purchasing your supplements through online stores or places like GNC, Walmart, Costco or other grocery like stores.

The reason is simple:

These companies mass produce supplements but don’t take care to provide thyroid patients with ALL of the ingredients necessary required for proper thyroid function.

They also tend to cut corners to reduce the cost and include inactive dyes, fillers and other ingredients which sensitive hypothyroid patients may react negatively to.

Also, they may include low quality iodine sources or unmethylated B vitamins which further reduce the quality of the supplements.

If you have hypothyroidism and you are searching for a high quality supplement I recommend that you look for supplements with the following attributes:

  • Thyroid supplements should NOT contain gluten, dairy, soy, artificial sweeteners, GMO’s, artificial colors or artificial preservatives
  • Thyroid supplements should contain activated and pre-methylated B vitamins -> you can find an example of activated B vitamins in this supplement
  • Thyroid supplements should contain therapeutic dosages of various nutrients
  • Your supplements should be produced in a GMP compliant facility and manufactured in the United States

This Is Ridiculous Isnt It

remedy diy

Why would any thyroid patient be motivated to go to such lengths to try to inflate their TSH or avoid its suppression?

Its because our medical system threatens to reduce our thyroid hormone supply based on a low TSH alone. Raising TSH can be a way to protect ourselves from harm within this broken system.

Its because some foolish people in the 1990s put this moody hormone TSH on a pedestal and made it the sole judge of our thyroid dosing, and too many people have been afraid to question its God-like authority by pointing to the evidence.

If you step back and think about it, isnt it amazing that TSH can vary as much as shown in the graphs above in response to some tiny nonthyroidal changes?

  • TSH is a volatile, vulnerable hormone. It fluctuates based on factors way beyond your thyroid hormone levels.
  • TSH often behaves very differently in people taking thyroid hormones compared to people who are not on thyroid therapy.
  • TSH behaves very differently when dosing different combinations and ratios of T4 and T3 thyroid hormones.
  • TSH fluctuations can sometimes be huge while our thyroid hormone dose does not change.

Why do medical systems grant this volatile TSH hormone the sole right to judge whether we have adequate dosing during thyroid therapy?

Our doctors have been given the power to starve us of thyroid hormone for a year just because our TSH is having a bad day.

We can be victims of our TSH and the medical system that idolizes it, or we can use science to try to master it.

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How To Improve Your Thyroid Health

Thyroid problems are more common than we think. According to the American Thyroid Association, nearly 20 million Americans have some kind of thyroid disorder, and around 60% of them are unaware they have the condition or had it misdiagnosed for some other condition.

Boosting Thyroid Function Through Lifestyle Changes

  • 1Minimize stress. Stress can have negative effects on your thyroid. Stress overworks the adrenal glands, which can accompany an underactive thyroid. Cortisol levels are also increased by stress, which affects insulin levels and hunger.XResearch source
  • Stress also causes people to overeat or turn to junk food, which can negatively affect the thyroid.
  • Learn stress-relieving techniques, such as deep breathing, yoga, or tai chi. Other approaches can include meditation, massage, and getting enough sleep.
  • Taking time off from your responsibilities can be very beneficial and restorative as well.
  • 2Do more aerobic exercise. Increasing your level of physical activity can also help boost your thyroid function. You should set a goal of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days a week.XResearch source
  • Try walking, swimming, rowing machines, ellipticals, stair steppers, or any form of cardio exercise that you enjoy. Talk to your physician to make sure there are no limitations.
  • Start slow and progress at your own pace. Set reasonable goals for yourself.
  • 3Incorporate more strength training. Strength training can also help boost your thyroid function.XResearch source You should add two to three days of strength training to your weekly exercise routine. Strength training also helps promote weight loss and reduce stress.
  • Try using weight machines at the gym. You can also lift free weights. Talk to your doctor about the proper exercises for you.
  • Recommended Reading: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid

    First Lets Review What Tsh Is And What A Normal Level Is :

    TSH is a hormone that the pituitary sends out to tell the thyroid how much or how little thyroid hormones to produce.

    Please note: TSH levels tell you what your pituitary is up to, but its not telling you what the thyroid is doing.

    Everyone is biochemically individual, but at our practice weve found that a TSH level between 0.5-2.0 is the range where people feel healthy and vibrant. Most labs have normal TSH ranges that span anywhere from 4.0-8.0, but most people with TSH levels this high dont feel well and need to take some steps to reduce their TSH level.

    The pituitary, hypothalamus and adrenals are all part of the endocrine system and communicate with one another throughout the day. When the body perceives stress emotional, mental, physical, environmental, etc. the hypothalamus tells the adrenals to work harder to put out additional cortisol, and it tells the pituitary to crank out more TSH which signals to the thyroid to slow down (and sometimes it can actually cause TSH to lower causing the thyroid to produce excess thyroid hormones.

    So, a high TSH level isnt actually a thyroid problem. Instead, theres some sort of imbalance in the HPA axis.

    Foods To Eat With Hypothyroidism

    How To Improve Thyroid Function Without Medications

    With Andrew Cunningham MD and Nicole German Morgan RDN

    Theres no one diet for hypothyroidism, and food certainly isnt going to stop or cure the issue but heres what you should and shouldnt be eating to feel your best and manage your symptoms, according to the latest research.

    Our tiny but mighty thyroid gland is one of the bodys main powerhouses and when it doesnt function properly, were at risk for one of many thyroid disorders. These disorders can be frustrating, debilitating, and hard to manage but youre not alone in the battle, and it can be done. An estimated 20 million Americans live with a thyroid disorder . You or someone you love might be one of them.

    One of the most common thyroid issues? Hypothyroidism. Its a condition that occurs when the body doesnt make enough thyroid hormone versus hyperthyroidism, in which your body makes too much thyroxine hormone.

    Thyroid hormones are all-important, playing a major hand in everything from cell repair and metabolism to regulating our energy levels and moods. Without these hormones, people with hypothyroidism end up dealing with a whole range of possibly risky symptoms and complications.

    These include but are definitely not limited to:

    • debilitating fatigue
    • increasing LDL or bad cholesterol
    • joint pain

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    The Importance Of Thyroid Hormone Production

    This is the AMOUNT of thyroid hormone produced by your body. You need optimal amounts of at least 11 different nutrients for this process to occur.

    Supplements that are REQUIRED for thyroid hormone production:

    • Inflammation and autoimmune disease

    It should go without saying that a deficiency in the production of thyroid hormone will result in a hypothyroid state.

    This is known as primary hypothyroidism and most commonly this results from damage to the thyroid gland itself .

    When we talk about the reduction in thyroid hormone it’s important to realize that your body has the innate ability to withstand some degree of damage.

    This is why the onset of hypothyroid symptoms tend to be very gradual and occur over a long period of time.

    As the incidents and damage to your thyroid gland accrue the symptoms get worse and worse.

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